Date:Friday April 28 2006
A sixth successive league victory on Saturday would further aid the Magpies' surge towards Europe as chairman Freddy Shepherd attempts to cut through the red tape to appoint Glenn Roeder as manager.
And, unlike Graeme Souness, the caretaker has made the dressing room a happy place.
Roeder: 'The whole place is bubbling, the dressing room and the training ground. Everyone is coming in to training with a smile on their faces.
'I've worked with all sorts of squads since I retired from playing, and this bunch of lads as a whole are the best I have ever worked with in terms of motivation to want to train and play, and the understanding when things go wrong.
'They don't look for others to blame and accept criticism, which occasionally I have had to do over the last two months. The boys are doing very well. There is a huge amount of self-belief and motivation running throughout the entire squad.
'It seems everyone is desperate to play and when they do play, they take their chance, which will make it difficult to pick the side over the next two games. Everyone who started last week will expect to play - and rightly so - and that will be a good problem to have.'
The question I would LOVE to ask Roeder: 'If you were Newcastle boss a year ago ... would you have sold Craig Bellamy and Laurent Robert?' Souness couldn't handle either of them, but I've a strong feeling Roeder could have got the best out of them both.
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